Introduction to Research Methods of European Studies
Full course description
This course introduces the different methodological traditions in the field of European Studies. We discuss the different approaches to scientific inference, especially from qualitative and quantitative perspectives. At the heart of the course is the discussion of the claim by King, Keohane and Verba (1994: 4) that ‘the differences between the quantitative and qualitative traditions are only stylistic and are methodologically and substantively unimportant.’ This claim is contested by, among others, Goertz and Mahony (2012) who argue that these different approaches actually constitute ‘two cultures’ within social science, ‘each internally coherent yet marked by contrasting norms, practices, and toolkits.’ We discuss different ideas about causal inference, research design and analytical approaches in light of broader debates about the fundamental and distinguishing features of ‘science’ as formulated by the major philosophical traditions and schools of thought. The course will prepare the ground for the subsequent methodological courses on qualitative and quantitate research methods.
- to acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of a broad range of theories, concepts and scientific research methods from history;
- political science, international relations, sociology and related academic disciplines aimed at understanding the process of European;
- integration, EU politics and the EU as an international actor in a changing global environment;
- to acquire advanced knowledge of how to integrate substantive, theoretical and methodological knowledge;
- to critically appraise standard arguments, assumptions, concepts, theories and methods in the field of European Studies, and to critically reflect on relevant cultural, social and ethical issues;
In this course we discuss selected parts of the following books, plus some additional readings that will be announced in the course syllabus:
King, G., R. Keohane and S. Verba (1994). Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Goertz, G. and J. Mahony (2012). A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Popper, K.R. (1980). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson. Kuhn, T. (1962 ). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- L. Russo